Tag Archives: WHITNEY HOUSTON

Marty plays the Jester, Bernie tells tales, Howie gets a new Deal & the Glee gang gets ready to graduate

HOW WILL I KNOW: Glee stars salute Whitney Houston tonight.

CALLING ALL GLEEKS: You thought Glee was a hot TV show? Hey, it’s all that and so much more. The Glee gang has sold more than 43 million songs and over 12 million albums worldwide. So far the show has scored three consecutive #1 releases with Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna, Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers, and Glee: The Music, Journey To Regionals. Meanwhile, Glee: The Music, Volume 1 and Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album have each sold more than 1 million units – and of course there’s more to come. Glee: The Music, The Graduation Album will become available May 15 and includes Glee versions of hot tunes by Queen and Lady Gaga. Also featured on the May 22 finale are songs by Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, Madonna and Green Day. And wait ‘til you hear what they do with Whitney Houston’s music on tonight’s episode. This crew is clearly on top of their game, and in case you have any doubts, check out tonight’s opening number – and enjoy!

SURELY YOU JEST: Currently on view every weekend with fellow judges Measha Brueggergosman and Stephan Moccio on Canada’s Got Talent, fabled funnyman Martin Short has the juiciest role in the new animated

SHORT: off to see the Wizard?

feature Dorothy Of Oz, playing the evil Jester who has taken over the kingdom. Glee showstopper Lea Michele voices the role of Dorothy, aided and abetted by Tin Man Kelsey Grammer, Cowardly Lion Jim Belushi and Scarecrow Dan Aykroyd. Adding even more lustre to an already lustrous talent pool are Smash showstopper Megan Hilty as a China Princess, Oliver Platt as Wiser The Owl and Broadway showstopper Bernadette Peters as Glinda the Good Witch. Sounds like a hot Original Cast album to me … and speaking of star power, there’s less than one week left to help select the 2012 Inductees to Canada’s Walk of Fame and the 2012 Cineplex Legends Award recipient.  Submit your nomination and you could win a trip for two to attend the 2012 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Show and red carpet to celebrate with the stars – and

HILTY: a SMASH-ing performer

you can submit your nomination and contest entry once per day.  Click here to submit your nomination – and do it now!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE:  Toronto International Film Festival co-founder Henk Van Der Kolk has a new gig in Central America – he’s the Director of the new week-long IFF Panama — Panama’s first international filmfest —  which opens this Thursday and promises to screen more than 50 ground-breaking films in Spanish and English before closing night on

COCKBURN: True Northerner

May 2 … it’s official, and it’s in stores now: Bernie Finkelstein tells all – well, almost all – in his new McClelland & Stewart memoirs, True North: A Life In The Music Business, from breaking into the Greenwich Village scene with The Paupers at the age of 20, discovering Bruce Cockburn, producing what might have been the “loudest band in the world,” Kensington Market, managing and producing Murray McLauchlan, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, and Rough Trade, winning 40 Junos, and much more. Sounds like a fun  read … Howie Mandel, who successfully reinvented himself as a game show host with Deal Or No Deal, is now set to

MANDEL: Elephsnt in the room

host a new NBC game show, White Elephant, a spin-off concept on those mystery ‘doors’ from Monty Hall‘s classic Let’s Make A Deal. NBC will test the new series with seven episodes … and Pat Ferns continues to be one of the busiest men in showbiz. As he has done since the inception of the 14th DocAviv event for Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers, he’ll return to Tel Aviv next month to moderate the pitching sessions and to interview key guests at this annual industry gathering of Documentary filmmakers. He’s also has been retained as the lead consultant for the third CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum in Taiwan in September and for the 7th China International Conference of Science and Education Producers in Yuyao, China in October, before returning to Guangzhou for the 10th anniversary of the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival in China in December. Now that’s what I call Air Miles!

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Midnight In Paris may not win another Oscar for Woody — but that poster is definitely a keeper

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: All will be revealed this weekend on Sunday night’s  Academy Awards telecast — but if they gave out Oscars for movie posters, the Van Gogh version of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris would get my vote hands down. It really is a beauty, and so evocative of the spirit of the film.

I mean, how cool is this? Really. I’m sure Woody will survive without winning more gold statuettes; he already has plenty. And the fact that Midnight In Paris is his biggest hit in years has gotta be the best consolation prize of all. By the way, not all Woody fans get to enjoy the same poster we do. Different countries market films in, well, different ways. As you can see. Oddly enough I have no desire to frame this one. But hey — different brush strokes for different folks.

YET ANOTHER REASON WHY WE LOVE LIZ SMITH: Has Manhattan gossip queen Liz Smith had her final say about Whitney Houston’s demise? We hope not. “No matter what Whitney might have abused in the past,” she wrote last week, “reports indicate that there were no illegal drugs found in her hotel room. Or in her body — believe me, TMZ would have headlined that. Whitney apparently died of an accident that has probably claimed a thousand American lives since Saturday. Too much drinking the night before, anxiety and a hangover the next day. Pop a Xanax (or anything to relax and relieve stress.) You don’t mean to, but you’ve just killed yourself.

SMITH: how Whitney died

“The legalization of marijuana or cocaine or meth have nothing to do with the circumstances of Whitney Houston’s death,” says Liz. “She didn’t die with a needle in her arm, or a crack pipe nearby. When TMZ obtained photos of the bathroom where she died, what terrible thing was revealed? There was a gravy boat, filled with an oil Whitney was using to soften her skin as she bathed. (The terrible thing is that they received these heartbreaking photos and ran them.) Police also said that Whitney possessed less prescribed medication at the time of her death than most ‘regular’ people.” Point taken. Let he who possesses an empty medicine cabinet throw the first over-the-counter pill.

YESTERDAY WHEN WE WERE YOUNG:  Try as I might, I can’t quite get my head around the fact that it was 40 years ago – four decades, folks – when Veronica Tennant danced that mind-boggling Rose Adagio choreographed by

NUREYEV & TENNANT

NUREYEV & KAIN

Rudolf Nureyev for the National Ballet’s headline-making premiere of The Sleeping Beauty. Then-aspiring prima ballerina Karen Kain danced it too, and next month Heather Ogden will follow in their bruised and tortured footsteps when she costars in Sleeping Beauty with her husband, high-flyer Guillaume Côte, who by the way will receive the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec tomorrow at the Parliament Building in Québec. Kain, now artistic director for the NBOC, acknowledges that the Rose Adagio her pal Nureyev created for the company “is one of the most athletically difficult versions in the world. This version is extremely challenging, for both Princess Aurora and the Prince.” But she’s very excited about seeing ballerina Ogden dance the role, she says, “because in addition to everything else, Heather has a powerful physicality. I think Rudolf would have loved her.” Ms. Ogden has her own thoughts on her new role, which she is still rehearsing as you read this. For a sneak peek at rehearsals, click here.

THEY GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS: Even when I was a film critic — come to think of it, especially when I was a film critic — I was always confused about the Academy Awards. Especially whenever I disagreed with the choice of nominees and/or winners. That is, until Ingrid Bergman straightened me out. Said the iconic Ms. Bergman, a three-time Oscar winner herself:  “We don’t care what you think.”

DAVIS: Oscar nominee

Pardon? “We don’t care what you think,” said Ms. B, flashing her legendary enigmatic smile. “You play the critic every day of the year. This is our one night to play critic. This is our one chance, once a year, to vote for who we think did the best job. So we don’t care what you think. This is one night when your vote doesn’t count.”  A few years later I was on the phone talking to song-and-dance queen Ann Miller, “I have to go now,” she said – “I’ve got to finish filling out my Oscar ballot.”  “Really!” I said. “Do you know who you’re voting for?”   “What a question!” she laughed. “My friends, of course!”

Who’s gonna win this Sunday? If they vote for their friends, it will probably be George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Nick Nolte and Octavia Spencer. If they vote for performances, it will probably be Jean Dujardin, Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer and Jessica Chastain. But either way it will probably be quite a show. Enjoy!

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Tommy turns 75, Celine & Tony sound off, Kelly & Jay play Fallsview and Arlene writes a bestseller

SHARPS & FLATS:  Crowd-pleasers Kelly Clarkson and Jay Leno are both set to entertain at Fallsview Casino next month, with the increasingly popular World Rock Symphony Orchestra now set to return in April …

PIECZONKA: Toronto Tosca

sublime Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka continues to dazzle as Tosca in the lavish COC production at the Four Seasons Centre now through Feb. 25 …  Daniel Lanois is set for two CBC Music concerts next month at the Great Hall on Queen Street.  The concerts coincide with Lanois’ induction into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame during Canadian Music Week festivities that same week … and legendary country gentleman Tommy Hunter will celebrate his 75th birthday by hanging up his guitar once and for all. Currently on tour, he’ll blow out the candles at a splashy birthday party in London, ON, on March 20, right after he gives his final concert at the John Labatt Centre. Should be quite a night!

HATS OFF:  To Tony Bennett and Celine Dion, who skipped the platitudes and went straight to the heart of Whitney Houston’stragic demise. Bennett says he has received mostly positive reaction to his statement urging the legalization of drugs in the U.S.

HUNTER: birthday boy

Legalization, he believes, would get rid of all the gangsters. “One thing I’ve learned about young people, when you say ‘Don’t do this,’ that’s the one thing they’re going to try and do. Once it’s legal and everybody can do it, there is no longer the desire to do something that nobody else can do.” Bennett, now 85, survived his own cocaine habit in the late ‘70s. Houston, who was 48, had admitted to using cocaine, marijuana and pills in the past. Dion, who is now, 43, considered Houston  “an amazing inspiration” but was clearly upset that “drugs, bad people, bad influences, took over her dreams, her motherhood,” she told Good Morning America this week. “When you

DION: remembering Whitney

think about Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson — to get into drugs like that for whatever reason – because of stress, bad influence, whatever — something happens that I don’t understand. That’s why I’m scared of show business, of drugs and hanging out. That’s why I don’t go to parties!” The private By Invitation Only funeral for Houston is set for tomorrow in New Jersey.

AND YES, YOU SHOULD TAKE IT PERSONALLY:  She’s worth millions and demonstrates how she got there every week on CBC’s megahit series Dragons’ Den.  But Arlene Dickinson shares even more of herself in her first (but, I predict, not her last) bestselling book, Persuasion, with some hard-won personal advice that everyone can use. “It’s a good idea,” she notes, “to take a hard look at your own narrative. Think about how you’d tell your life story to a Hollywood producer, how you’d explain the highs and lows. Have you cast yourself as a victim of circumstance? If so, maybe your story could use a rewrite, starting with the lead character who has choices – and sometimes makes the wrong ones.”

DICKINSON: persuasive life lessons

Making the wrong ones is something Dickinson knows about. She’s made quite a few herself. But, as she points out, those of us who have made some wrong choices along the way are in good company. High achievers are mistake makers, a fact she illustrates with engaging examples from Henry Ford to Oprah. (My favorite? Thomas Edison’s perspective on his many unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. “I didn’t fail one thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with one thousand steps.”)

Persuasion is about the art of connecting with the person you seek to persuade. It’s about caring. And about how to master “a little-known secret to success in business”  – listening. But because Dickinson makes it personal, Persuasion is much more than a How To book; it’s a survival guide for the mind and, sometimes, the soul. And within that survival guide are some valuable insights on corporate culture. “Staying in a situation you hate and complaining about everything that’s wrong, but never trying to fix it, doesn’t make you a martyr. It makes you complicit.”  Similarly, her views on our ability to choose the consequences of failure are bracing and refreshing. Bitterness is not an option, she insists, and shares another favorite quote, this one by mathematician Blaise Pascal: “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

As CEO of Venture Communications she also has  some genuinely amusing business stories to tell, including the time one of her partners,  trying to save the company money, arranged for her team to stay on a friend’s sailboat off Vancouver Island instead of paying for pricey Vancouver hotel rooms. When they arrived at the dock she noticed that the boat’s name was Important Business  — andsuddenly realized what my partners meant when they told me in the past that they work ‘going away on important business.’ They were talking about this sailboat!”

Stylish on screen and off, she appreciates the fame that television has brought her but resists the urge to take it for granted. “I have exactly the same insecurities anyone has,” she admits. “If anything, they’re even more overwhelming when you know a couple of million people are seeing all your flaws in high definition!” And despite the fact that her on-screen chemistry with fellow Dragon Kevin O’Leary has made her an audience favourite, her account of her auditions for Dragons’ Den (yes, she had to do more than one) and how she had to discipline her own self-doubts to get the job — she replaced another Dragon when she came to the series in its second season — is intriguing inside stuff.

Of course that’s why Persuasion is a bestseller. It’s a hypnotic, hard-to-put-down book of life lessons shared by someone who had to learn most of them the hard way. As Arlene Dickinson sees it, the main obstacle standing in our way is, not surprisingly, us. “Our past shapes and influences who we are, but it doesn’t limit who we can become.” Persuasion, as promised, is a new approach to changing minds. And although she preaches the power of persuasion, she urges her readers to be sure of their objectives, be they personal or professional. “Before you set out to persuade someone,” Dickinson writes, “you need to be certain that you actually want what you’re asking for. Because you just might get it.”

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Oprah packs for Precious, Bryan covers Twiggy, Kate goes Crawford, and Tommy sings a new Tune

THE BIG OH: Ya gotta love Conan O’Brien’s comment on Barrack Obama’s plan to have dinner with Oprah Winfrey during his visit to Martha’s Vineyard. “That’s right,” said Conan, “the most powerful person in the free world is going to have dinner with President Obama!”

WINFREY: packing for T.O.

WINFREY: packing for T.O.

TIFF-bound Oprah is set for a pretty sensational September so far. She’ll jet here to celebrate the Sunday Sept 13 world premiere of her new film, Precious, before launching another new season of Oprah! the next day with an hour-long exclusive heart-to-heart with tortured but gifted diva Whitney Houston.

Will Whitney ‘sing’ for Oprah?

Count on it.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: The only man ever to win nine Tony awards in four different categories, song & dance sensation Tommy Tune, has a brand-new road show titled Steps in Time, the same title as Fred Astaire’s autobiography.

TWIGGY: Bryan Adams cover girl

TWIGGY: Bryan Adams cover girl

“That’s true!” says Tune, now 69 years young. “I borrowed the title from two of my idols, Sir Noel Coward and Fred Astaire. Coward gave that title to Astaire’s biography, so I have purloined it!”… and speaking of Tommy Tune, Renée Zellwegger’s new movie, My One And Only, is not, repeat, not the screen version of the great Broadway musical Tommy created for himself and Twiggy.  In this one Zellwegger plays a social beauty who is out to land a husband to take care of her and her two boys. Renée’s character is apparently based on Palm Beach matriarch Ann Devereaux Hamilton, whose sons include the ultra-tanned movie star George … and speaking of Twiggy, did you catch Bryan Adams’ fabulous photos of her inside (and on the cover, natch) of the fall issue of Zoomer magazine? Does anyone take better celebrity portraits than Adams? Not that I can see.

BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS … : Director Robert Rodrigues has signed Lindsay Lohan for a starring role in his new movie Machete, possibly opposite Robert DeNiro. Now that we’d like to see! … director Guy

WINSLET: mommie dearest

WINSLET: mommie dearest

Ritchie is in London, working on post-production of Sherlock Holmes, which is still slated for a Christmas Day release with Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdamsJulie & Julia filmmaker Nora Ephron’s next work, a collaboration with her talented sister Delia, is a play called Love, Loss and What I Wore, set to open October 1 at the West Side Theater in Manhattan … my Brit spies whisper that Madonna plans to direct a new movie musical about the Duke & Duchess Of Windsor and wants Cate Blanchett and David Tennant (TV’s Dr. Who) to play Wallis Simpson and the king who gave up his throne for her …  and director Todd Haynes has persuaded Oscar winner Kate Winslet to star as Mildred Pierce, the role that won Joan Crawford her Oscar, in a six-part mini-series remake of the James M. Cain novel. (The original was cleaned up considerably to get by Hollywood’s once-stringent production code.) Now all director Haynes has to do is find the right actress to tackle the role of Mildred’s vengeful daughter, so memorably played in the original by the usually saint-like Ann Blyth.

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS: CBC Television launched its nightly 90-minute supper hour newscasts this week. Which meant it had to move

DUMONT: 'V'-spot

DUMONT: 'V'-spot

Coronation Street to 6:30 pm. Which meant more grumbling from Corrie fanatics (and yes, you know who you are) … Microsoft launched its new msn.ca website with fairly modest fanfare …  Montreal-based TQS (Television Quatre Saisons) showed off its new name, “V”, its new direction (more fun, less doom ‘n’ gloom) and announced a new political affairs show hosted by Mario DumontShowcase showed off its new look and its new logo, just like brand new sneakers on the first day of school … and Canada’s struggling ‘E’ network bit the dust as new owner Channel Zero relaunched its ‘E’ stations with a new format. (Whew! Glad that’s over.)

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND

See you next week!

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